You have to wait in the valley, frequent the streams, and stumble across hard rocks, before you can journey up-hill to appreciate the mountain.
Patience is a virtue.
I’ve been researching and studying the amazingly, enigmatic city that is New Orleans.
From the birth of Jazz, to Hurricane Katrina to Mardi Gras; this city is full of layers of significant history and people. From its deep-rooted French culture, due to the Louisiana Purchase, intertwined with echoes of African Voodoo carried through the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade; there is something about this town that is totally fascinating and complex.
One of the most interesting things I’ve come to understand and love about this city other than its music scene (New Orleans Bounce music, primarily), is the history of the Mardi Gras Indians. Their inception started over 100 years ago from a group of Louisiana natives whose ancestors were of African and Native American decent. As most Americans know, miscegenation between these two groups were very common during the days of slavery and colonialism. And New Orleans is one of the only cities in America that has recognized the importance of this and its affect on their culture as a city within Louisiana.
The Mardi Gras Indians prepare all year for Fat Tuesday. Meetings, practices, sewing sessions, collecting money and resources for their group/organization/tribe etc… People see the second lines and parades, they stand in awe of their extravagant costumes and the moving vibrations of their singing and chanting, yet, rarely understand the hard work and dedication that it takes to do what these people do. And it’s all in the name of tradition, strengthening their legacy and paying homage to their forefathers and foremothers who evoked this special tradition years ago.
I plan on attending Mardi Gras 2017 and cannot wait to have a taste of New Orleans and Louisiana culture for myself. I look forward to seeing the Chiefs chanting their tribal songs throughout the streets, seeing the legendary Baby Dolls dancing in their satin corsets and umbrellas and just seeing people from all over the world having a good time. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the King Cake that I bought from my local bakery and savor in its flavors until February 28th, 2017.
“Ya heard me?!”
Today is the Feast Day of the Yoruban goddess/diety, Yemaya. It’s only right that I give honor, thanks and praise to her for all that she has done for me and my life.
This Summer, I have fallen into a DEEP love and obsession for anything mermaid or sea-life themed. As a water sign, it is only natural that I am attracted to the sea and all things green (no, really… I am), but it’s as if I am actually LIVING it now. I’ve been wearing so much blue and green. I even got to visit the ocean, Yemaya’s home and dwelling place, in July in California. Traveling there is always a powerful experience. Anyone who has been there can attest to the fact that it is like NO OTHER place on this planet. The energy in the air is enough to make you just stop, look and wonder. It has been four years since I touched the Pacific ocean, or any large body of water, other than the rivers and lakes in my area. It was so powerful, therapeutic and healing.
I’ve even been thinking about having a mermaid themed birthday cake, next month. LMAO, I MIGHT have to rethink that one. But, I am so grateful for the waters of life. There may be high tides and low tides. Extreme tidals of emotions and dull waves of stagnation and nothingness. But one thing we can learn about this is that it all brings change, which is life’s only constant. And without these changes, we would not gain the life lessons necessary to move forward towards new horizons. So, in essence, water is very essential in our lives. It is the element of nurturance, health and even destruction. And we must have all of these things in order to transform our lives anew… And that’s word to Yemaya, because that’s who she is and what she brings forth to us all.
As we all prepare to celebrate these last two weeks of Summer, I think back on how much of a blessing this Summer has been and how it will prepare me for a new season of life. Fall shall be great. May we all reap all of the amazing seeds of positivity and productivity that we have sown, and may we share it with those around us.
Until then, I’m gonna keep on eating this Watermelon while it’s still in season and enjoying these long, hot ass days of fun. #PEACE